Former Kingdom Come, Scorpions Drummer James Kottak Dead At 61

Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
Font Size:

Former Scorpions and Kingdom Come drummer James Kottak died Tuesday morning in Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of 61.

Kottak’s daughter Tobi first confirmed his death, and Metal Sludge later reported the news.

“Sad news from the rock world today as we report the unfortunate passing of James Kottak,” Metal Sludge wrote. “A source close to the Kottak camp has confirmed the news that the drummer died early this morning in his hometown of Louisville Kentucky. It is believed that Kottak died of an apparent cardiac arrest,” they wrote.  Kottak’s exact cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

“Kottak was best known as the drummer from Kingdom Come who made an impact in the late 80’s with their Led Zepplin esque influence,” Metal Sludge wrote. “Kottak was also part of various touring bands including a 2 decade stretch in Scorpions (1996-2016), Warrant (1994-1996) and Dio for a short run of shows in 1997.”

INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA – AUGUST 06: James Kottak of Scorpions attends the press conference to celebrate 50th anniversary of Scorpions on August 6, 2015 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The talented drummer joined the Scorpions in 1996 and became the longest serving member of the band until he was let go in 2016 as a result of his issues with alcohol, according to TMZ.

Kottak also lent his talents to other bands, including KrunK, Montrose, Wild Horses and Buster Brown, to name a few.

He also appeared on a number of reality television shows, including “Ex-Wives of Rock,” in 2012.

Members of the German rock band Scorpions (L-R) Pawel Maciwoda, James Kottak, Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs pose for photographers before a press conference on May 28, 2010 at the Dussmann bookshop in Berlin during the presentation of a new coffee-table book by photographer Marc Theis. The photographer accompanied the band on their world tour from 2007 to 2009. AFP PHOTO DAVID GANNON (Photo credit should read DAVID GANNON/AFP via Getty Images)

Kottak was married to Tommy Lee’s sister, Athena, from 1996 to 2010, and they share a son named Matthew. (RELATED: AC/DC Legend Colin Burgess Dead At 77)

Friends and fans have been sharing memories of the musician on social media, paying tribute to his legacy, his passion for the drums and how he touched many fans through his craft.